Thursday, 30 October 2014

Product highlight: Irregular Encounters

Irregular Encounters was the second supplement for Five Men in Normandy.
Sales link here

I'll give a bit more of a detailed breakdown as well as illustrate whether it is of help to FiveCore players or not.

The goal of this expansion was to illustrate less common situations and provide fodder for scenario writers in particular. Hence, the focus was a bit less on conventional military actions.
It is also one of the smaller supplements, clocking in at only 8 pages.

Force generation table and a new Motivation table for partisan units in world war 2.

This is pretty specific to the way forces are created for Five Men, though it could be used to generate random partisan units for any skirmish level wargame.

Mission - Night Fight:
I honestly don't know why I didn't think of this one when writing Five Men, but better late than never. This is a new mission to play. Goal is to inflict casualties with extra rules for limiting weapons fire and increasing confusion.

You could use this with FiveCore with no problem at all.

Mission - Relief Effort:
A mission where one side has to rescue some wounded soldiers. This is a very iconic "television" sort of mission that can often get players very involved in the fate of their little toy soldiers.

As above, this works fine in FiveCore as well.

Sympathetic civilians:
This is suitable for partisan scenarios in particular and basically allows civilians to pitch in to help one side or the other.
Some people are partial to more randomness and would appreciate this.

This can be used with no problem for FiveCore and Five Parsecs games (locals pitching in to help take down a gang or fend off Unity troopers)

Special Character - Scrounger:
This is the character archetype of the soldier who always manages to find just what you need.
The scrounger can boost morale, acquire more grenades and can use enemy weapons during battles.

The special characters are intended for use in Five Men campaign games and might not be all that useful in a FiveCore game.

Unwilling troops:
Intended for WW2 scenarios involving reluctant conscript types, this could be used for many FiveCore scenarios as well.

Character flaws:
This is essentially a negative skill system. It is applicable to FiveCore games without any problems.
FYI: This table was reprinted without modification in Five Parsecs From Home.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sale for spooky times

Until Friday midnight, 5 dollars off Five Men in Normandy, Five Parsecs From Home and No End in Sight. 3 dollars off FiveCore.

Go grab 'em!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Product highlight: The Rifleman's Guide


I get a few questions about what the various supplements contain, so I thought I'd go through them a little to help clarify whether you might enjoy them or not.
It'll also clarify if the product is suitable for other game lines.

The Rifleman's Guide was the first supplement for Five Men in Normandy, providing expansion material that was felt not to fit in the main game rules.

Inside you will find:

Expanded rules for injuries. 
Aggravated injuries gives you a bit more detail and will tend to make injured soldiers be out of action longer while Specific Injuries adds a table to roll on when figures go out of action to see if they might be hanging on or not).

Both of these systems are applicable to FiveCore gamers as well, though for Five Parsecs, you'll need to translate "days" into "campaign turns". Usually a standard of 3-4 days per turn is good.

They would likely be hard to adapt to a non-NWG system.

Tables to determine the impacts of weather. Select from Rain, Snow, Cloudy, Bright and Burning then roll for any effects.
This is applicable to FiveCore gamers as well.

Non-NWG systems could use this but you'd need to tweak the results.

Secondary skills:
A D100 table that provides for some non-combat skills. This is primarily a roleplaying aid but creative players can no doubt find a way to fit a characters cooking skill into the campaign.
No rules are provided.

Applicable to pretty much any game system you can think of.

Personality traits:
A D100 table with character traits, such as "Assertive" and "Sarcastic". Roll to add flavour to your characters, leaders and people you encounter. No direct game effects, all background flavour.

Applicable to any game.

Random mission generator:
Lets you generator missions randomly with terrain, objectives, opposition and support, deployment and when you can leave the encounter.

Aimed at Five Men in Normandy, it could be used with FiveCore players but there will be some references that may need some modification.

It could be adapted to other systems with some conversion work.

Incapable soldiers:
Rules for using wounded soldiers in combat, such as during a raid on a hospital or similar. This is intended for scenario designers and can be used in any FiveCore game.

Very rules-specific, so non-NWG gamers will not get much use out of it.

Suspect Hostile:
A simple "Hidden enemy troops" option for setting up an unknown enemy that will be revealed as you play. Similar in concept but different in execution to other games on the market.

Intended for Five Men in Normandy but could be adapted to FiveCore without too much fuss. For other games, you'll need some conversion work, likely more than it'd be worth.

An option to allow a squad leader type of figure to motivate the men to get extra moves or shots. Very applicable to FiveCore games of any kind.

Not helpful to non-NWG gamers.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

An example of game play from my upcoming RPG

Hope this makes sense without having the combat table in front of you.

Example of combat:

Our battle will be between 4 heroes and a troll, with 4 henchmen standing in their way.
I'll only list traits below that are relevant to combat.

The henchmen have no traits whatsoever, while the troll has 3 Monster Traits (Tough skin, Regenerates, Angry)
The heroes consist of Theodor the Thief (Agile), 
Felicia the Fighter (Swordsman, Tough), Borin the Barbarian (Rage, Warrior, Aggressive) and Hilda the Hand maiden (no traits).

The heroes run into the troll and its henchmen in a large cave, where they've tracked the beast. As they spread out, the henchmen rush forward, swords drawn, with one henchman engaging each hero.

First Exchange:
Theodor rolls 98 (Spectacular defeat of opponent). He easily side steps the onrushing goon, slashing his throat with his dagger, and then darts to position near the troll, without a single drop of blood on his clothes.
Felicia rolls 22 (push back, fatigue). She decides to save his traits for the troll. The henchman attacks with a flurry of blows, pushing her back to the cave entrance, before she regains his footing. The fatigue roll is uninspired, causing one conviction to be burned until she can rest. She just isn't feeling it today.

Borin gets a 20 but burns his Warrior trait. Re roll is a 37 (interrupted). As Borin rushes towards the enemy, just as swords are about to clash, their eyes both fall on a small, shiny trinket in the rubble, with an unnatural gleam to it. They both stop in their tracks, staring at it, then each other.

Hilda fares worse, rolling an 11 (push back and injury - injury roll is Knocked Senseless). Trying to evade the attacking brute, she smashes into the cave wall, and staggers back, dazed.

2nd Exchange:

Theodor now finds himself one on one with a troll. Not what he had bargained for!  Who dares wins though, and he gets a 92 (defeat, advantage). He darts forward, slamming the blade into the trolls thick hide as he moves behind it.
The troll burns one monster trait, and the thief notes down that he has advantage (acting a temporary trait).
Felicia gets a 25 (inconclusive, fatigue - must rest 30 minutes). She struggles with the henchmen, the two characters locked in a brawl. Several blows to the head is draining her energy, but she manages to shake it off (burning the Tough trait to avoid the fatigue result)

Borin lays into the henchman, determined to get the trinket for himself. With a 52, he wins but in the process he suffers an impaired leg, as a sword blow catches him at an awkward moment. He growls in anger, as he grabs the trinket off the ground (burning his Anger trait to suppress it for the battle)

Hilda continues her streak of terrible luck with a 12, suffering another injury, Steady bleeding. She has now been backed into the corner of the cave, and is quite desperate.

3rd Exchange:

Theodor gets a 43, causing the troll to be driven off. Clearly the rapid thief has disconcerted it, and it decides to try and retreat further into the caves, leaving the henchmen to fend for themselves.Felicia manages a 54, dispatching her opponent by a neat wrestling move but suffers a Painful Blow in the process.

Borin runs to help Hilda but again suffers an unexpected event. The 
GM narrates that as the troll is retreating, he throws a lever on the wall, causing parts of the cave to start collapsing. This buries the henchman Hilda is fighting, but causes her to be separated from the group.

With this event, Hilda's roll is ignored (and she finally got a good roll too, curses!).


As the fight draws to an end, the party decides to regroup, rather than rush after the troll. Sitting down for a second, lets Felicia get over her injury though she still needs to rest up. They decide to back out of the cave to rest for a bit, and hope the troll doesn't entrench itself too much.

Borin takes the time to investigate the item he found, and toy with it. The 
GM rolls up a random magical item, and decides that the barbarian can discern its powers by experimentation. It turns out to be a ring that inspires berserk rage.

GM rules that this acts like a temporary "Berserker" trait, which Borin is quite excited about. The ring must recharge after use, and so can be used once per day. 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

And now for something completely different

A long time ago, I worked on a fantasy role playing game titled "Metal Rogue". It's a table driven story-focused game that relies very heavily on random events to generate surprises for the group (and GM).

Think of it as a game that mixes elements of FATE and Rolemaster (as disparate as those sound). As a bonus to being wicked fun, it also has random generators for everything from deities to cities to worlds.

Inbetween other projects, I've been slowing working on getting it done and out there and I hope it'll happen fairly soon while waiting for playtest results to start drifting back for No Stars in Sight.

Maybe a month or so?

Not sure if the wargaming and roleplaying crowd overlap but if you'd like to see an RPG take on some of the design weirdness I put in my wargames... well, you might just get a chance :)

Page count will be around a hundred pages, all meat. Minimal art other than a cover (if any, we're going pretty guerilla for this one).
If you happen to be able to draw better than stick figures (or you know, really good stick figures), let me know if you feel inclined to donating.

I'm thinking it'll be 15 bucks or so for the guerilla version. If it does well, I will spice it up to a "deluxe" version with more art later.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

New supplement plus thinking out loud.

Go get it

Tons of options for your characters and scenarios in FiveCore games.
Balancing on ledges, pick pocketing and taming wild animals, we got you covered.

This one is specifically for the more scenario/creative/RPG oriented of you people out there.

* * * * *

FiveCore stuff is always a struggle between two opposing views: Smaller games with more character or larger games with more troops.

I've been having various thoughts about larger game options for you people. It might look something like this:

Instead of having 2 or 3 activations, you get 2 or 3 initiatives per turn. An initiative activates a guy and up to 3 comrades within 3" of him.

Move the guy with the initiative normally, then move the other guys selected with him, ending up within 3" of his final destination.

When firing, the guy you picked receives aimed fire. This will be a sort of combination of the current Shock and Kill dice. Roll 1 die with 1's pinning and 6's incapacitating.

The other guys receive area fire. 6's pin, no other results possible.

Essentially what happens is that a guy shows personal initiative and others tag along, following his lead. It helps avoid the silly situation where an entire platoon is all firing at full effect, like what happens in a lot of games and keeps the basic mechanics that make the game unique.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

What I am working on

While waiting for playtest results from a bunch of things, I thought I'd share a quick idea I came up with, which I can do in the meanwhile.

The basic FiveCore mechanic is pretty simple and very popular: Roll and if it's a 1 or 6, something happens.

Its easy to adapt and you can find a solution to an unexpected situation pretty easy.
What I came up with is to make a supplement of essentially pre-configured rolls for a bunch of different actions. Anything from persuasion and detective work to climbing up buildings and walking on narrow surfaces.

For each action, it'll give a few comments on how to handle it and then the results if you roll a 1 or 6 attempting that action.

The idea is to give players a whole bunch of new options to use in scenarios or even on a regular basis.
This can also form a good basis for future projects. For example, rules for travel and scrounging can be lifted into the future post-apocalypse expansion easy.

An example I just finished:

Acts of strength
This can be used for most actions requiring physical strength and brawn, including pushing, lifting and breaking things.
As with acts of dexterity, this can be used in place of other rolls, for players who prefer to use a small number of tables.

The attempted action is assumed to succeed unless a result is rolled on the die.

1 Don't have it.
Character can't do it though another may attempt the same action. Two characters that both failed can join up to get another attempt.
6 Argh.

The character fails as above and is in intense pain. -1 to movement rates, rushing and brawling for the rest of the battle.

Friday, 10 October 2014

[Normandy] Conventional warfare - Scouts

It's been a while since we've talked about things specific to Five Men in Normandy and I figured just like I occasionally give a Travellers Guide to some unit or critter in Five Parsecs, I'd do something similar for WW2, called "Conventional Warfare". This will basically showcase different unit types and how to field them in WW2 games.

This should all be viewed as very optional and with the intent of getting you thinking.
This is a slightly different approach than the typical " a soldier is a soldier" view of things, but I thought it'd make for a fun exercise in what you can do with the system.

We'll start off with scouts, one of the best suited troop types to a FiveCore game. A few men sneaking about, trying to get the lay of the land and maybe bushwhack an unsuspecting enemy. Good stuff and well suited to skirmishing.

We distinguish here between a few infantry men sent to conduct a patrol and troops tasked with reconnaissance as their primary job and skill set.

Scout infantry
A player force designated as scouts can be rolled up as normal but will not carry machine guns. Any such roll is treated as 2 men with rifles instead.
If the mission is a raid, up to two men may replace their armaments with pistols instead.

The unit will never exceed 5 men. If dice rolls would indicate more men, generate an additional skill and assign it to any man of choice. Only one bonus skill is generated.

Scout troops are used to moving and redeploying quickly and efficiently. On any normal turn, one scout soldier may be moved 3" in any direction though subject to reaction fire as normal. This bonus move is not subject to any skills that modify movement rates.

National differences
Soviet scouts may trade one rifle for a sub machine gun.

Sneak peek

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Upcoming mini-supplement for No End in Sight

Been quiet due to working on a few projects for you all, but am nearing completion on a little mini-supplement for No End in Sight, giving a bunch of new options and alternate rules for people who want a little more detail in their scenarios.

Title is not 100% settled, but figuring it'll be the "NEIS Rules Pack" or some such. Might even call it a DLC :)